|MBNA America Challenge Championships
- Barn Notes for Friday, November 5
5, 2004) - The ultra-consistent Push the Pace has been training
well for new trainer "Sleepy" Gilbreath and is ready for
Saturday's Grade 1, $300,000 MBNA America Challenge Championship
at Sam Houston Race Park.
Push The Pace was previously trained by Mike Barber, but Barber
could not work the trip to Sam Houston into his schedule. Since
Gilbreath is based in Texas throughout the fall and winter, Push
the Pace joined the Gilbreath stable.
"He's just a big pro," Gilbreath said on Friday morning.
"He's very easy to be around and does everything well."
The trainer was also pleased that the gelding drew an outside position-the
nine -in the 10-horse field racing 440 yards.
Push The Pace joined the Gilbreath barn in early September after
finishing a close second in the La Plata Stakes at SunRay Park as
the 1-2 favorite. It was his second second-place finish to go with
four wins in his last six starts. He has proven his consistency
through his 29 race career with 15 wins, primarily against top stakes
competition in New Mexico.
In his three starts prior to the second-place effort in the La
Plata Stakes, Push The Pace won the Grade 1 MBNA America New Mexico
Challenge Championship and the Top Deck Handicap, each at the Challenge
Championship distance of 440 yards. In the New Mexico Challenge
Championship he defeated Special Task Force, one of his rivals on
First post time first 7 p.m. CST for the 10-race program highlighted
by five Grade 1 Challenge Championship stakes races. The races will
be televised to 50 million households on TVG and the following Fox
Sports regional networks- Southwest, South, Net 2 (west coast),
New York and Sunshine (tape delayed in Florida). The races will
also air on America's Horse, televised on the Outdoor Life Network,
on Nov. 21 and Nov. 28 at 6 p.m. EST.